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JB Cafe: Taste Coffee (啡尝之阁) Turkish Sand Brewed Coffee @ Jalan Tan Hiok Nee

Taste Coffee is a new cafe that setup shop towards one end of Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk among a cluster of other cafes. The friendly family-run cafe is rather spacious with simple decorations. When Taste Coffee roasts their coffee beans, the aroma will drift down the heritage lane and pull coffee lovers into the cafe.

A signboard outside the cafe with the words "Turkish Sand Brewed Coffee" spurs the curiosity of adventure seekers and passers-by — me too!

Taste Coffee offers both black and white traditional coffees using locally-produced Liberica beans — there are teas and chocolate too. The cafe also sells roasted Liberica beans (大果咖啡), Canephora / Robusta beans (中果咖啡), Hainanese coffee, cold brew coffee (冷萃咖啡) and 3-in-1 instant white coffee.

Nevertheless, the cafe's signature coffee is the Turkish Sand Brewed Coffee, which is a rare sight in both Singapore and Malaysia. Their traditional Liberica coffees, either black or white, are also must-tries — if you have not tried Liberica's flavours before.

The Turkish sand-brewed coffee is brewed using a cezve (or ibriki) with a long handle in a metal tray filled with sand. The tray-filled sand is heated over hot flame. The hot sand provides an even distribution of heat.

To begin brewing, both the coffee powder and water are put into the cezve and heated up together. The amount of heat is controlled by adjusting the depth of the sand covering the sides of the cezve.

When the coffee mixture is heated up to certain degree, it will foam and rise to the top. The hot coffee is then poured out partially to another container with a coffee filter. The cezve with the remaining coffee mixture is again submerged in the hot sand and heated up and foamed again. The process was repeated 3 times in total — I should have taken a video...

And the Turkish coffee is ready! The dark-brown coffee is served with a sugar cube and condensed milk. The way to enjoy the coffee is to taste it before adding any sugar or milk.

A mix of several types of coffee bean are specially selected and roasted for the Turkish coffee. The strong coffee is neither acidic nor bitter and is aromatic. I skipped the sugar cube, sipped half the cup of coffee before adding some condensed milk to try the different tastes. I will try the unfiltered coffee next time.

Apart from coffees, Taste Coffee also offers toast-and-egg dishes for breakfast. There are other options such as sambal bee hoon, chicken chop noodle, etc.

The butter-kaya toast with a soft-boiled egg is a light and tasty treat for the morning. This is really nice.

The triple-filling butter-kaya-peanut toasts is yummy with the thick butter.

Before leaving the cafe, get two bottles of the cold brew coffees for RM12 (each bottle is RM7) and try the different tastes of their coffee brewed at room temperature and kept cool.

Apart from kopitiams offering traditional kopis and modern cafes offering percolation and immersion coffees in the vicinity of Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk, there is Turkish coffee and Liberica coffee (for those who have yet to try it) now at Taste Coffee. Try them!


Taste Coffee

31, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Opening Hours:

8am to 4pm | Closed on Wednesday

Next: JB Eat: Restoran Roast & Coffee @ Jalan Tan Hiok Nee

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